“It is inspiring to see the transformation in Ben’s life”
Ben Nash, 21, worked as a warehouse assistant and on a trawler in Canada before he joined the army. Last year he was diagnosed with a health condition which, in a matter of months, saw him medically discharged.
“It was like a bad dream and difficult to take in,” recalls Ben. “But I had to face up to the fact that my life was going to be very different out of the Army.”
Desperate to find work, he moved to London, where his savings quickly disappeared. He realised he needed help if he was to avoid ending up sleeping on the streets. Veterans Aid, a charity that provides help for veterans down on their luck, found Ben a place at Tedworth House, home to the personnel and recovery entre run by Help for Heroes. It proved a turning point.
At Tedworth House Ben came into contact with Remploy. “They were running a weekend course for service leavers,” he said. “There was a lot about the mentality needed to get a job. There were one-to-one sessions and I was given an individual plan. It was brilliant and just what I needed at that time.”
Louise Aspin, Remploy’s partnership delivery manager, helped Ben secure an apprenticeship in the kitchen at Tedworth House working for catering provider Blue Apple under Head Chef, Rob Hawes. The apprenticeship has evolved into a permanent job as a trainee chef at Tedworth House.
“Ben has become a lot more confident and knowledgeable over the past months,” says Rob Hawes: “He is studying for an NVQ and putting into practice what he is learning. He loves to achieve good results and takes real pride in sending out great quality food.”
“Ben is a joy to work with,” added Louise Aspin. “He is articulate, professional and focussed on his work. Just as importantly, he has a smile for everyone. It is inspiring to see the transformation in his life.”
An optimistic Ben said: “I feel so lucky. I know a lot of people don’t get this type of opportunity.”
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